This week, T and I have started our new strategy. One session a week, then two email responses. I can still email whenever I want, but the agreement is that T will only respond on the chosen days. If I’m in crisis then I can still text her to ask for a phone call, but the idea is that I will become more secure in when I will hear from her, which will hopefully stop the panic cycle that I’ve written about before. 

This has worked mostly successfully this week. It has been hard to wait for her email on both days – last night she didn’t email until nearly 11pm, by which point I had worked myself up into a complete frenzy that she had obviously forgotten about me. But she did reply, at nearly 11pm on a Friday night, because she said she would, and that showed me she does care. 

We had some difficulty at the beginning of the week because T really wants us to start using encyrpted emails…. and I really don’t. It feels too boundaried and constricted and like I’m something dangerous to be put in a box. To be fair to T, I had a total meltdown about it, a full blown temper tantrum strop, and she has backed down from it temporarily. It’s really important to her though, so I’ve asked if we can come back to it in a months time. I feel too insecure right now to cope with it right now but potentially it’s something we can work up to in the future. She seems okay with that.

I think it’s been a quieter week for GP and I, although flicking back through our messages, we’ve talked lots every day, so actually maybe not?! It’s felt marginally less intense and emotional though, so I hope he is feeling some benefit from T giving more support. It’s been a wobbly week for me as he’s spoken to my new GP (these acronyms are going to get very confusing!). He is handling it brilliantly and with such care, which is keeping it somewhat contained, but the change, the new relationship and the perceived risk of losing him (no matter how much he promises me I’m not actually losing him) causes panic and a desperate need to cling on tighter and to beg and to safety check. I know that this is the most unsettling part – somewhere between the first suggestion and actually just getting on and meeting her – at the moment I’m floating in all the possibilities my brain can make up (what if she hates me, what if I hurt her, what if GP leaves me, what if she’s one of Them, what if I lead Them to her and They hurt her, what if, what if, what if…). I know that when I’ve actually met her (and GP subsequently hasn’t left me because of it) then I will feel much more secure again. The nervous waiting is the most unstable bit and so I am going to register with her next week and try to meet with her as soon as possible. 

This transition from GP (he can be A from now onwards, I guess?) to new GP (who will eventually become just ‘GP’) is a massive test of one of my deepest attachment fears – that people only care about me because they have to, and that as soon as there is a get out clause, people will run far, far away. I know A has told me approximately 85 million times that he is still going to be just the same for me after, that this only changes who I go to for prescriptions/general doctor stuff for really…… but it is hard to help Little to truly believe that until she sees it. She lives in fear that love and relationships are tricks, that he might pull away from her afterwards. And if he does, then she will not be able to reach out to anyone and say how awful it feels, because to everyone else, of course you wouldn’t continue a relationship with a doctor after you were no longer a patient. If he backed away and she grieved that and pined for him, she would be made to feel inappropriate for wanting him. 

This triggers a lot from a relationship I had with a teacher at school, who was intense and supportive and wonderful… until she wasn’t. And then when she wasn’t and I was distraught, all that other teachers and friends could say was how silly and inappropriate it was to have that bond in the first place. Didn’t I know my place? Silly me, to assume I was cared about more than as just the pupil role that I was in. 

So for A and me, and for A and Little, this is a huge transition. He shows me all the time how much he cares, so I know this is purely a historical fear, but it feels very much like making the leap, letting go of his professional, doctor responsibility hand hold, free falling for the shortest time, and then holding his other hand, where our relationship hopefully will still exist because he cares about ME, me as who I am, and not me as a patient. That relies on him wanting to continue to know me and care about me and that’s terrifying when I just can’t understand why ANYONE would want to know me or care about me. 

I know that he will be there. I trust in us and our relationship and I have trust in him. But it still feels really nerve wracking and difficult to make the leap. 

I have lots to write about T and our work this week but I will separate that into another post. X 


One response »

  1. One of the questions I have in reading therapy blogs is being in the middle of the story: not having the chance of knowing all of it, as I might have when I was in practice; nor having the ability to ask the questions I might have to better inform myself. Also, there are an enormous number of therapeutic approaches. Some involve “inner children” as a metaphor, but often are referred to as if they were separate entities. Others deal with what are referred to as “alter” personalities, as in DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), again with references to different names for these “states.” A proper diagnosis leads to a model of how to treat a person. I offer this, which of course it is your right to ignore, in case you wish to present (in some future post) a clear understanding of your diagnosis (if you have a diagnosis) and the therapeutic model being used in your treatment.

    It is easy to lose sight of these concerns, especially as a patient in the middle of a difficult time. The therapist, however, needs to pay attention not only to what is happening in the moment, but also to the overall vision of how treatment needs to proceed. Sometimes it can also be helpful for the patient to know “where things are going” to provide reassurance, especially in the most difficult periods. And, I wonder if such a big picture view might help you in the management of the “panic cycle” you’ve described here.

    It’s a bit like having a strategic plan which leads a person to adopt certain tactics to achieve the strategic goal. All that said, it sounds like you have some wonderful and dedicated people working with you. If all of them and you are together in understanding the overall vision and the tactics used to help you, then you have every chance of a good outcome.

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